My Favorite Mobility and Safety Devices That Help Me Care for My Mom

There are a lot of expenses that go into caregiving for someone with Alzheimer's disease. It can all add up. Some may be covered by insurance, and some may not. I love a good deal, though, so I try to go as cheap as I can without cutting corners.

Deals and finds can be had on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, however, the following are my deals found in the wild.

Wheel chair for the win

I bought a wheel chair at a garage sale. It was really nice - 25 dollars. It had a cup holder. Wow, I know. Mom can get around okay for short spurts. She always says she can walk better than she can stand, and she doesn't like to walk much. She can push a shopping cart around Walmart for hours, though. Too bad they don't make orthopedic shopping carts.

The down side of the wheel chair turned out to be the four small wheels. We wanted mom to be able to join us on our family neighborhood walks. She can push it for a while, then ride. It turned out this wheel chair was not easy to push. The handles were hard and the small wheels rattled roughly on the asphalt; we don't have sidewalks.

Now I see why it was in a garage sale. I think it would do better on the smooth floors of the mall. A new one can be 150 to 200 dollars.

A MacGyver'd rollator

Next, I got a rollator at a thrift store. It is like a walker, but with wheels instead of tennis balls, and it has hand breaks. I got 2 - one was free. It was just coming in, and I asked how much it was. The young man just gave it to me. The other was pretty cheap - I don't remember how much. New, they can be over 100 dollars.

Mom does really well with the rollator walking around the neighborhood. When she gets tired, she can sit on the seat. My husband and son strung a bungie cord across the legs, so she can rest her feet. She has to sit going backwards, so she doesn't love it, but it does the trick.

I'm keeping the best one for mom while sending the other back into the donation stream.

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Big finds, even bigger saves

Then, on my birthday, I wanted a family trip to a big thrift store and bazaar that my family used to go to years ago, when the kids were little. We scored! There was a regular wheel chair with the big wheel in the back - 30 dollars! New, they can be 5 to 6 times that. It rides so smoothly!

Mom rode it the rest of the time in the bazaar. I does really well on our neighborhood streets. Mom can push it, then when she's tired, we push her. It has foot rests, so no bungie cords.

My very favorite thing: A door alarm

My very favorite thing is a door alarm! Mom would leave her room to go to the bathroom while I was sound asleep. Once, she fell in the bathroom and scooted herself back to her bedroom, sitting on the floor for hours until I found her when I went to get her up. She wasn't hurt, but I was horrified.

The model I chose has a battery operated receiver rather than one that plugs into an outlet. I can carry it with me. It came with 2 sensors. I put one on her bedroom door. I can also get additional sensors if we find we need them.

I was out in the yard with our new puppy, and the alarm went off, signaling mom was up early. I went in to tend to her. It has been a game changer for me. I won't sleep through the alarm, and it has a pretty good range to reach outside. I can choose the tune it plays and the volume.

It doesn't keep playing until the door is shut again. It only plays once, which is a feature I really like. It totally works for me, and it was only 27 dollars on Amazon.

What steals and deals or full-priced bargains-at-any-price have you found to care for your loved one? Has insurance helped or do you pay out of pocket?

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